UN Security Council Rejects Russian Bid to Counter Weapons in Space

Tue May 21 2024
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UNITED NATIONS, United States: The UN Security Council on Monday rejected a Russian proposal for a resolution against military activity in space, as countries questioned Moscow’s sincerity after it, in April, vetoed a US text against the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the final frontier.

The Russian text called on all states to take urgent measures to forever prevent the placement of weapons in space and the threat or use of force in space.

The Russian text received seven votes in its favour – including China – and seven against, including the US, the UK and France, with Switzerland abstaining.

US envoy Robert Wood said the move was “the culmination of Russia’s campaign of diplomatic gaslighting”.

He said Russia does not want the Security Council to focus on its dangerous actions in space as he referred to US allegations that Moscow was trying to put a nuclear weapon into orbit.

Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, meanwhile, said those on his side were “generally satisfied with the results of the vote”.

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The vote showed a divide — a divide between those who seek the peaceful uses of space and those who move toward the militarization of space, he added.

The text closely followed a draft resolution proposed by the United States and Japan in late April, which received 13 votes in favour but was vetoed by Russia, with China abstaining.

UN Security Council proposals need nine votes to pass, with no opposition from the five veto-wielding members.

The US text called on all states, especially those with major space capabilities, to actively contribute to the goal of the peaceful uses of outer space and the prevention of an arms race in outer space.

It reaffirmed the obligation of all parties to fully comply with the Outer Space Treaty, including not placing in Earth orbit any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other type of weapons of mass destruction.

Nebenzya charged that Washington and Tokyo have a “lack of interest” in banning all weapons in space, instead trying to focus only on nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction.

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